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Dusky Moorhen - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Neil
Sydney, Australia, December, 2003
Gallinula tenebrosa


Very similar to Common Moorhen but differ in having red legs (sometimes only above the knee) in the adult and in lacking the white flank stripe.


Borneo, through Indonesia to New Guinea and Australia (including Tasmania).



There are 3 subspecies1:

  • G. t. frontata:
  • G. t. neumanni:
  • G. t. tenebrosa:
Photo by colonelboris
Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia, December 2009


Lowland well vegetated wetlands, including swamps, rivers. town lakes, also mangroves in dry periods. They prefer open water and water margins with reeds, rushes and waterlilies.


Sedentary or dispersive.


The diet includes plants and insects.


Its bulky nest is placed at the water's edge; 5-18 whitish eggs are laid.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Wikipedia
  3. BF Member observations

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